Welcome to PAP/RAC Mediterranean Coastal Alert! This newsletter is regularly updated monthly. It contains abstracts of selected current articles and archives on various environmental themes, in particular those dealing with all aspects of coastal issues. The selection is made from the articles published in the leading international scientific journals. This newsletter is an excellent way of keeping you updated with coastal studies and processes.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) shield ocean environments from hazardous human activities, including the extraction of marine resources and excessive urban development. Delimitation, zoning and governance structures are some of the environmental management tools that are provided by MPAs. These management tools may be contentious when human settlements exist within an MPAs’ boundaries, since zoning affects existing human activities and potential developments, and managing structures overlap traditional governance arrangements. Varying perspectives emerge when each stakeholder is taken into consideration separately. Ideally all stakeholders with genuine interests in MPAs should take part in the delimitation, zoning and governance of these areas. However, governance is about reaching agreements amidst differences and is not just a matter of considering differences as singularities. In order to understand how multiple stakeholders would reach a shared environmental governance of an MPA, we took the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park (ECLSP) in The Bahamas as a case study. The ECLSP, created in 1958, is co-managed by the Government of The Bahamas and the Bahamas National Trust (BNT), and contains within its boundaries uninhabited islands, islands occupied by local communities, and private islands mainly owned by foreigners or held in Bahamian trusts. In this study, we conducted an exercise with different stakeholders who were challenged to work together in redrawing the park’s boundaries, zoning and governance structures. Their individual opinions mattered less than the discussion and outcomes of their joint work. We conclude that a shared environmental governance structure does not eliminate all the frictions among stakeholders, but rather it makes them all aware of the natural and social complexities involved in managing MPAs, which improves stewardship and enhances the ECLSP’s legitimacy among stakeholders.
Keywords: Marine national parks; Governance; Participatory process; Bahamas.
Source: F. Duarte, G. Doherty and P. J. Nakazawa (2017); “Redrawing the boundaries: planning and governance of a marine protected area - the case of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park”; Journal of Coastal Conservation, April 2017, Volume 21, Issue 2, Pages: 265 - 271; First Online: 22 February 2017 under DOI: 10.1007/s11852-017-0498-4
Federal, state, and local governments in the United States, along with land trusts and other nonprofit organizations, have invested significant financial resources in protection of natural lands in coastal areas. As the climate changes, protected lands could provide increased resilience to coastal communities, yet climate change also poses a threat to the continued existence and healthy functioning of these ecosystems. The objectives of this research are to characterize the distribution and types of coastal protected lands in the eastern United States, estimate their exposure to sea level rise, evaluate the potential impact of this exposure on associated ecosystem services, and then discuss appropriate adaptation measures. For this, we construct an inventory of coastal protected lands in shoreline counties of US states along the Atlantic. We summarize their ownership and land cover and evaluate their exposure to a 3-foot (0.91 m) rise in sea level. We find substantial variation in the amount of lands protected in coastal shoreline counties, from a high of 34 percent in Florida to a low of 7 percent in Pennsylvania. Federal ownership is greatest in the South, whereas state ownership dominates in the Mid-Atlantic. Private groups own large shares of protected lands in Maine, New Hampshire, Delaware, and Maryland. Moving south, dominant land covers in protected areas shift from forests to wetlands. We find that one quarter of protected lands in shoreline counties will be affected by 3 feet of sea level rise, with substantial heterogeneity in exposure across states and greater impacts in southern states. Almost 50 percent of federal lands and around 25 percent of state lands will be affected. While substantial proportions of estuarine wetlands and unconsolidated shore (beaches and dunes) are currently protected and provide key coastal ecosystem services, 95 and 91 percent of these protected systems, respectively, will be affected by 3 feet of sea level rise. We discuss the potential consequences and the associated reductions in ecosystem service provisioning from sea level rise in the context of current funding and adaptation planning for conservation. We find that some of the states facing the greatest challenges are those lacking plans and funding. The large heterogeneity in ownership, land covers, and funding across states suggests that adaptation policies for coastal protected lands will need to be tailored to the local context; a one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to be as effective.
Source: R. Epanchin-Niell, C. Kousky, A. Thompson and M. Walls (2016); “Threatened protection: Sea level rise and coastal protected lands of the eastern United States”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 137, 1 March 2017, Pages 118 - 130; Received: 30 November 2015; Revised: 31 October 2016; Accepted: 17 December 2016; Available Online: 29 December 2016 under DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2016.12.014
Bianchetto [“white” late-larval and juvenile stages (‘fry’) mainly of sardine (Sardina pilchardus)] was fished traditionally along most of the Italian coast. The Gulf of Manfredonia (southwest Adriatic Sea) hosts a sardine nursery which was historically exploited by the bianchetto fishery using trawlnets; the fishery was banned in 2010. Here, we model this larval fishery under different assumptions of catch and natural mortality to assess its impact on the adult sardine stocks in the Adriatic Sea. The results show that the impact of the fishery is heavily dependent on the choice of early-stage natural mortality. The model proposed by Pepin (1991). Effect of temperature and size on development, mortality, and survival rates of the pelagic early life history stages of marine fish. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 48: 503–518. was selected as the most plausible. Under this assumption, the direct effect of the bianchetto fishery in the Gulf of Manfredonia on the Adriatic adult sardine stock appears to be low, but not negligible, with impacts estimated as a 0.1–2% increase in the numbers of sardine at age 1 in the absence of a bianchetto fishery. Projections show that a 5% impact on age 1 sardine may be sufficient to bring the adult stock below safe levels. Therefore, given the uncertainties surrounding the impact assessment and the current status of the stock, if this fishery were to be resumed, catches should be kept at the lowest possible level until the underlying processes are better understood.
Source: P. Carpi , E. B. Morello, A. Uriarte, M. Panfili, B. Roel, A. Santojanni, F. Donato and E. Arneri; Handling editor: E. Anderson (2016); “Impact of the fishery for late-larval European sardine (Sardina pilchardus) on the adult stock in the Adriatic Sea”, ICES Journal of Marine Science, Volume 74, Issue 3, Pages: 728 - 740; Received: 21 June 2016; Revision Received: 25 October 2016; Accepted: 26 October 2016; Published: 26 December 2016 under DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsw208
Pumping of 82 MCM/yr from Mujib basin (Eastern Dead Sea), coupled with the 54 MCM/yr recharge rate, has led to diminished groundwater levels and dramatically affects ecosystem services. Climate change compounds these issues by reducing recharge and increasing the ecosystem’s hydrological demand. This paper investigates groundwater resilience to climatic changes in Mujib basin by modeling resilience for the years 2014 and 2050. Resilience of groundwater was modeled to long term changes as “low” in the central parts of the study area due to low saturated thickness and high pumping rates. Resilience was modeled as “high” to “very high” in areas with high saturated thickness and higher replenishment rates. Water budget components were modeled through the J2000 hydrological model; giving a groundwater recharge of 54 MCM/yr. Statistical downscaling of global circulation models indicated a 21% decline in precipitation by the year 2080 with 2 and 3° increases in maximum and minimum temperature respectively. Recharge for the year 2050 was recalculated based on the downscaling and prediction results to be 30% less than current recharge. Continuous over-pumping with recharge reduction will cause a 30-70% reduction in saturated thickness by the same year. Modeling groundwater resilience under the new conditions showed a severe impact on the study area especially the central parts which are expected to comprise a semi dry aquifer by 2050.
Keywords: Jordan, Dead Sea, groundwater resilience, climate change.
Source: M. Alraggad, B. Johnsen-Harris, A. Shdaifat, Moh`d Kotaiba Abugazleh and A. Hamaideh (2017); “Groundwater resilience to climate change in the eastern Dead Sea basin – Jordan“, Academic Journals: Scientific Research and Essays, Volume 12(3), Pages: 24 - 41 , February 2017; Received: 28 September 2016; Accepted: 02 November 2016; Published: 15 February 2017 under DOI: 10.5897/SRE2016.6459